Reflections on the Philosophy of the History of Mankind
“Reflections on the Philosophy of the History of Mankind” was written by Johann Gottfried Herder. He starts of by stating the simple fact that no two things are alike. Whether he is talking about leaves off the same tree, or humans, everything is slightly different in appearance. Although items may closely resemble each other, they have characteristics that make them different in one way or another. Herder goes on to argue no person is the exact same internally and the number of differences is infinite. External differences seem to have more similarities when comparing to things, but even alone they are different. “Man is no independent substance,” argues Herder. Humans as a whole, use the Earth and different animals or objects around them to survive. The air, light, nature and meat are some examples given to the way we use the Earth. Everything changes, especially life on a day to day basis. Herder goes on to explain his ideas on race. To others races can be split into four or five categories in relation to countries and complexions. Herder disagrees with this and finds no need for these titles. “Race refers to a difference of origin, which in this case either does not exist, or in each of these countries, and under each of these complexions, compromises the most different races.” He realizes there are differences depending on where a person lived or the background they grew up in. He believes these characteristics should not “destroy the original national character.” Everything was born for a reason, and people have to take the way they were born and mound themselves into the person they want and are supposed to be. The more people come together, the better the nation seems to work out. Different ideas are shown and brought about by people according to the place, time and circumstances they were in when trying to chase what they felt necessary. Overall Herder goes on to explain the operation of human...
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